Lagavulin Feis Ile 2012 Bottling 1998 Vintage (Cask No. 1716), 55.1%

Price: $133 Issue: Fall 2012 Reviewer: Dave Broom

At first I wondered what was going on here. This Lagavulin has more of the austerity typical of Port Ellen. There's a tense minerality on the nose giving the impression of salty rock-pools and samphire. Water makes it sweeter and oyster-like. There's big delivery on the tongue, with masses of distillery character, but that tension remains to the saline finish. In a head-to-head with Caol Ila, the former wins hands down. £85